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Wind farm would fall outside buffer zone for radar

A recently released Department of Defense report calls for a 25-kilometer "offset zone" between possible wind farms and the PAVE PAWS radar installation in Sagamore. However, Cape Wind Associates' plan for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound would fall slightly more than two kilometers outside such a zone. According to the report, that means the proposed wind farm would not affect operations at the strategically vital defense radar site.

Cape Cod -

A recently released Department of Defense report calls for a 25-kilometer "offset zone" between possible wind farms and the PAVE PAWS radar installation in Sagamore.

However, Cape Wind Associates' plan for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound would fall slightly more than two kilometers outside such a zone. According to the report, that means the proposed wind farm would not affect operations at the strategically vital defense radar site.

"The Cape Wind project falls outside the 25-kilometer safety zone," said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, the agency which presented the nine-page analysis.

Any future projects that fall within the buffer zone, Lehner said, would require further, site-specific studies to determine just what impacts there would be, if any.

PAVE PAWS is shorthand for the phased-array warning system run by the United States Air Force's 6th Space Squadron. The high-tech radar system scans the skies for intercontinental ballistic missiles. The base's other mission is to monitor space for debris, such as dying satellites.

The study also addressed a similar early warning system at Beale Air Force Base in California.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command is on... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Cape Cod -

A recently released Department of Defense report calls for a 25-kilometer "offset zone" between possible wind farms and the PAVE PAWS radar installation in Sagamore.

However, Cape Wind Associates' plan for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound would fall slightly more than two kilometers outside such a zone. According to the report, that means the proposed wind farm would not affect operations at the strategically vital defense radar site.

"The Cape Wind project falls outside the 25-kilometer safety zone," said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, the agency which presented the nine-page analysis.

Any future projects that fall within the buffer zone, Lehner said, would require further, site-specific studies to determine just what impacts there would be, if any.

PAVE PAWS is shorthand for the phased-array warning system run by the United States Air Force's 6th Space Squadron. The high-tech radar system scans the skies for intercontinental ballistic missiles. The base's other mission is to monitor space for debris, such as dying satellites.

The study also addressed a similar early warning system at Beale Air Force Base in California.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command is on record as saying that the wind farm would not affect its radar station. It issued its first decision in 2004 and, after further analysis, restated its position earlier this year.

The would-be developer called the report "good news for Cape Wind" and touted the fact that the project was outside the recommended offset zone.
"Now the Department of Defense has reached the same determination as the U.S. Air Force - that Cape Wind will not negatively impact the Air Force PAVE PAWS radar system," said Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind.

"This report puts to rest in a final form any reasonable concern about this issue."

Clean Power Now, an advocacy group which supports the project, also noted that the proposed wind farm site would be more than a half-mile below the bottom of the main radar beam of PAVE PAWS.

"The enormous benefits of energy independence, sustainability and avoidance of greenhouse gas from the Cape Wind project are now ready to be realized as the potential for radar interference has been effectively removed," said Barbara Hill, the organization's executive director.

But the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an opponent of the project, said the report confirms what they've long held to be true: that wind turbines can impact radar.

"Cape Wind has consistently downplayed the significance of the threat of its turbines to missile defense and called Congressman William Delahunt's request for a study on radar interference ‘desperate' and ‘suspect,'" said the Alliance in a statement. "Delahunt's insistence that the Department of Defense fully assess that threat was clearly justified by the final results of the DOD study which removes any doubt that such a threat exists."
Calling the site "too close for comfort," the Alliance said the project should not move forward.

"Why take chances on national security when we can eliminate the risk by siting this project elsewhere?" asked Charles Vinick, president and CEO of the Alliance.

In turn, Rodgers accused the Alliance of "fear-mongering tactics" and twisting the findings of the report "to suit their narrow agenda."

The executive summary of the report states: "Utility class wind farms could have significant impact on radars, including the missile defense early warning radars."



Source: http://www.townonline.com/b...

JUN 18 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/9542-wind-farm-would-fall-outside-buffer-zone-for-radar
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